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‘Diplomatic meltdown’ — Atiku reacts to withdrawal of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso from ECOWAS

 

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) in the last elections, has reacted to the withdrawal of
Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS).

 

In a post on X on Sunday, Abubakar said the withdrawal of
the three countries from ECOWA is “concerning and a matter of serious
diplomatic meltdown”.

 

The former vice-president said Nigeria must keep its
national security interest as it relates to terrorism and banditry while
appraising the situation.

 

“Reports about the withdrawal of three countries from our
sub-regional body, @ecowas_cedeao, is concerning,” Atiku wrote.

 

 “It is a matter of
serious diplomatic meltdown. We must keep the country’s national security
interest, especially the fight against terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and
others in focus while we appraise the situation.”

 

Earlier, the three countries withdrew from the regional bloc
in a joint statement.

 

They criticised ECOWAS over the sanctions imposed on them as
part of efforts to reverse the coups in their countries.

 

“After 49 years, the valiant peoples of Burkina Faso, Mali,
and Niger regretfully and with great disappointment observe that the (ECOWAS)
organization has drifted from the ideals of its founding fathers and the spirit
of Pan-Africanism,” the countries had said in their statement.

 

The three countries are ruled by military leaders, who
overthrew democratic government.

 

In 2021, Mali temporarily pulled out from ECOWAS after the
country experienced two coups in less than a year.

 

ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali and suspended it as a
member.

 

In January 2022, ECOWAS suspended Burkina Faso’s membership
after a military coup led by Paul Henri Damiba, which saw the democratic
government of former President Roch Kabore ousted by mutinying soldiers.

 

In December 2023, the bloc suspended the Niger Republic
after soldiers led by Abdourahamane Tiani, a general and head of the
presidential guard, overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.

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